Montreal was founded by French settlers in 1642. Today it is a multicultural metropolis with a population of approximately 3.5 million people. It is the largest French speaking city in the world after Paris. In Montreal, you will find a mix of European style and joie de vivre, combined with North American business practices and conveniences. For many, this is a perfect combination!
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While French is the official language of the province, in Montreal approximately 68% of the population is Francophone, 14% are Anglophone, and 18% are allophones (mother tongue is neither french nor english) and about half of the population is bilingual. 20% of the population is trilingual. Montrealers are spoiled by a high quality of life. The cost of living is relatively low compared to other North American cities, and yet, the city has a huge variety of activities on offer for your entertainment. The city is safe and clean and its inhabitants make the most of its proximity to natural playgrounds such as the Laurentian mountains or the Eastern Townships, and other big cities such as New York and Boston. In Montreal, a good time is never hard to find.
The weather in Montreal is both fabulous and awful. Montreal is blessed with four spectacular seasons. Its residents have learned to enjoy each to the fullest. Of course, winter is long and cold and some years it can be quite trying. Snow and icey conditions impede getting around when the city can't keep up its street cleaning schedule. And after a few months, most Montrealers long for a bit of warmth. On the plus side however, Montreal winters are brilliantly sunny and most days the sky is a beautiful bright blue. These sunny skies help cope with the cold. And, if you are a skier, you can enjoy many glorious days on the many slopes within a thirty minute drive of the city. As spring creeps around the corner, Montrealers start shedding heavy winter coats and sidewalk cafes start popping up. This is a great time in Montreal as you can literally feel the city start coming back to life. During the summer months, the city is in full party mode with one festival after another coming to town. You can enjoy the best music, the best laughs, the best food all within a few weeks! Then as the days shorten and the air gets crisp, Mount Royal is in all her glory as her trees slowly change from green to red, yellow and gold; a true pageant. Which season will be your favourite?
To learn more about the history and culture of Montreal, click here.